Adrian Juarez, Ahmad Bani Younes, Ahmed Atallah, Robyn M. Woollands

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Model predictive control is a powerful methodology that involves repeatedly solving an optimization problem over a moving time horizon, using predictions of the system’s future behavior and response. Model predictive control is especially useful for handling model and parameter uncertainty in real-world applications, and it has become a wide-spread solution methodology in industry. Typically, the nonlinear system dynamics are approximated by linearized dynamics and the controller, which is designed based on the linear system, is used to control the nonlinear system. This approach requires solution of the Riccati equation. The key contribution of this paper is the development of a model predictive controller, that operates directly on the nonlinear system dynamics, for optimal spacecraft attitude control. The optimal control formulation leads to a boundary value problem where the initial costates must be iterated to solve for the optimal control that drives the system to the desired final attitude. A unique formulation of the Chebyshev-Picard boundary value solver is implemented, whereby the state and costate equations are simultaneously integrated forward and backwards respectively over the finite receding horizon. We present simulation results for an attitude maneuver using our new algorithm and compare the performance to that of the classical Linear Quadratic Regulator, as well as a shooting method that utilizes MATLAB’s fsolve and ode78.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationASTRODYNAMICS 2020
EditorsRoby S. Wilson, Jinjun Shan, Kathleen C. Howell, Felix R. Hoots
PublisherUnivelt Inc.
Number of pages19
ISBN (Print)9780877036753
StatePublished - 2021
EventAAS/AIAA Astrodynamics Specialist Conference, 2020 - Virtual, Online
Duration: Aug 9 2020Aug 12 2020

Publication series

NameAdvances in the Astronautical Sciences
ISSN (Print)0065-3438


ConferenceAAS/AIAA Astrodynamics Specialist Conference, 2020
CityVirtual, Online

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Space and Planetary Science


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